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Poster: clementinescaboose Date: Jun 5, 2011 1:35pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Butch Trucks Quote (Dead-Related)

actually i don't see it that way at all. really i take only about half of those years as good (i.e. '66-'83) and about 8 years ('68-'74) as great.

to me Trucks is trying to insinuate that during those great years they were totally inconsistent. he first says: "Once and a while they would really lock in and find a groove. It was very few and far between but they would do it." then: "The later years of the band it almost never happened...Toward the end, the other guys took on a stronger position as Jerry got further out of it. They would play for hours and they would just noodle and go nowhere."

so even if Trucks is writing off the later years and saying they were totally inconsistent relative to how many good vs. bad years (somewhat valid imho), he is still trying to say that during the most consistent '68-'74 (or whatever you consider it to be) period they only found a groove once in a while. i can in no way defend this part of his argument.

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Poster: light into ashes Date: Jun 5, 2011 5:55pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Butch Trucks Quote (Dead-Related)

Well, I think Butch was writing rather vaguely (perhaps his thoughts were vague in the first place), as what he means is rather unclear.
If you really wanted to analyze it though, he says pretty clearly that "the nights it was really good were when the three of them really clicked and the other guys just stayed out of the way." I can see how Mickey & whoever was on keyboards could 'get in the way', though I have to wonder how that applies to Weir.
There certainly were times in the long jams where Weir 'stayed out of the way', but it basically became Hartbeats music at those points! It doesn't strike me that in the best Dead jams, Weir is going off & hiding so Phil & Jerry can shine more... But his style is sometimes self-effacing so it's hard to notice just what he's doing; maybe Butch is used to more assertive guitarists who solo a lot! (He does imply that Weir & "the other guys" stepped up more in the later days, which is true.)

But Butch also seems to say that toward the end, as Jerry got 'further out of it', is when the other members would noodle more and go nowhere - implying that it was Jerry who mainly gave a direction to Dead jams. Which is an interesting implication - but is that what Butch means, or was that a general statement about their whole career? Maybe the memory of a long '90s Space was lingering in Butch's mind here....

And his saying that the Dead's jams were very "country based" leaves me wondering just which jams he was thinking of, after the early '70s. Did the Dead have more 'country jams' than, for instance, the Allman "Blue Sky" Brothers? Umm, no.

One also has to wonder what Butch considers "a groove", if the Dead rarely found one. Maybe for him, it was all downhill after the Pigpen/Lovelight days? Heck, even the 'disco Dead' was all about the groove. (I admit many of my favorite early-'70s jams do not groove much, but are "locked in" in a more subtle way. But as Cliff mentioned, the Dead had more going on musically than a locked-in groove.)

So it seems to me that Butch's actual position is imprecise & hard to pin down, except that he found the Dead rather sloppy/noodley much of the time, and not entirely to his taste - and perhaps because of this reaction, it doesn't sound like he's a frequent or "serious" Dead listener. Not that he needs to be; he has his own band!

This post was modified by light into ashes on 2011-06-06 00:55:49